Medway Pride CIC, MGSD Centre, 331 High Street Rochester Medway ME1 1DA hello@medwaypride.co.uk 01634 408668

International Transgender Day Of Visability TDOV

Medway Pride & Medway Pride Radio are supporting TDOV though our visability and programing today 31st March 2021.

Why you may ask is TDOV important?

The International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) is celebrated on March 31 every year. It was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in transgender issues. The purpose of TDoV is to recognize the accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people as well as bring attention to their continued struggles. It is an important day for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and the transgender community in particular.

Members of marginalized groups often have limited exposure to successful people that look like them, be it real-world examples or visibility in the media The transgender community is no exception to that rule.

Their visibility in the media is not only minimal but often used to ridicule and missrepresent the community. Over the past 3 years mainstream media has used Trans people, and Trans Women in particular to drive a push back on Trans peoples equality rights and healthcare for young trans people. Taking out court actions against organisations that are supporting the equality rights of trans people or those providing support to them.

From the stories published in mainstream media you would think that Trans people were all powerful, able to quash the voices of the majority of people and demand health care provision to help reduce gender dysphoria and have treatment provided imediately the next day, Forcing children though a conveyor where they are plied with drugs to change their gender without chance to consider their futures.

The reality is very different!

The reality for Trans people of any age today is living in a society where the media is seen as a toxic force with a government that is not taking action to support trans people and where small but organised groups are using the Trans community as a wedge issue to push back on LGBTQIA+ and womens equality rights.

The reality is if you are a young person in need of support to discuss their gender identity with parents, wider family, friends and peers, you are made to feel ashamed and guilty for being you.

If you are lucky and have a supportive family and you find a supportive GP you will be refered to Child & Adolecent Mental Health Services and then onto the Gender Identity Development Service. This pathway to have your first assesment with a gender specialist take up to 3 years, and that is for the first appointment not to receive medical treatment, this is only available after many assesments by child & adolecent pyscologists and gender specialist. It certainly dose not fit the image of a conveyor belt pushing young people though a process to quickly.

If you are an adult and find the courage to discuss your gender identity with family and friends and found the support to ask your GP for help you will come across barriers to access treatment, your GP may not feel able to treat you, if they do refer you to the adult NHS gender service you will find yourself on a 3 to 4 year waiting list for a first apointment. and once you manage to navigate to the appointment you will need to progress through a process that can take another 3 to 5 years to complete your journey. A decade of you life on waiting lists while dealing with life in what can appear to be an hostile environmentn.

The majority are supportive!

When you find the courage and support to be yourself, you will be supprised to find out the the majority of people are supportive of the community. The majority are busy living their own lives and are not bothered about the concerns about which toilet people use, or what services they can access. They may not totally understand why trans people are trans but they are not transphobic.

This is why TDOV is important today. It gives members of the Trans community and others a chance to see that you can live, be happy and successful and a Trans person. It gives Allies a chance to show their support for the community and all this helps those who may need support to not be scared, to find organisation that can support them, and take that first step to live as their true selves.

To the Trans community I say, I see you, I stand with you, I will support you.

To our Allies I say be visable, be vocal in your support, help educate your friends and work mates.

To everyone, take the time to find out more about communities from the communities, talk to them and avoid those who spread hate and conspiracies theories

Hilary Cooke

CEO Medway Gender & Sexual DIversity Centre

Chair Medway Pride

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